In Somalia there is a great famine.  There is a famine when more than 30 percent of the population is undernourished and two people per 10,000 inhabitants daily die from malnutrition. The last half year there seemed nothing to have changed. There still dying 50 000 to 100 000 people because international aid came too late. 4 million people still need help. Especially women and children are the victims.

At this moment, it is the worst drought in sixty years, because the political instability and the continuing war in Somalia, 12 million people are in danger. For two rain seasons it didn’t rained and it looks as if the drought persists. When it does rain it is in too large quantities so that the fertile soil is washed away. Especially rice cultivation, many hundreds of millions of people depend on it, is sensitive to climate change. A rise in average temperature by one degree Celsius downs the harvest yield  by 10 percent.
Due to the global warming it looks like nothing much will change for Somalia in the future. Even Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Uganda suffer. There is an urgent need for water, food, medical aid and care facilities.

World leaders must urgently do work on a new climate agreement. This climate agreement  was agreed at the end of 2009 at a major climate conference in Copenhagen. according to Oxfam, rich countries must reduce their emissions by 2020 reduce by with 40 percent compared with the levels in 1990. That’s a lot more than the European Union, the United States and Japan have pledged so far. Oxfam asks the G8 leaders to set up a fund to help poor countries adapt to climate change. This would require 150 billion per year. It ended without an agreement on legal measures against further global warming. It was agreed that a fund is established for poor countries facing the consequences of climate change. In the early period from 2010 to 2012, rich countries gathered $ 30 billion (21 billion) in deposits.

Would reduce emissions effectively have a major impact on the drought prevailing in the countries where help is needed? This is already a big step where the whole world can work on in a positive way and thus help those countries, so their crops can grow back and reduces hunger.


The countries where Artsen Zonder Grenzen spent the most in 2010:

You can see that most of the money is spent in Haiti. This is due to the natural disaster that has stricken the area.

Where did the money come from? Most of the money has come from the private sector (91%), public institutional (7%) and other sources (2%). The total amount that came in in 2010 was all together 943,3 million euros.

How was the money spent? In 2010 the money was spent in programmes (68%), headquarters programme support (10%),  awareness-raising (3%) and other humanitarian activities (1%). All together an amount of 666,1 million euros (82%) was spend on the social mission. Also in other expenses drained the budget (18% or 146,8 million euros), like fundraising and management, general and administration. So the overall total is 812,9 million euros.

If we compare both, there is a profit of 132,5 million euros.

relationship between the money that goes to Africa and to research for vaccination for pets

In this post, there is a relationship between the money that goes to Africa and to research for vaccination for pets.

Money that goes to a company:

Exact amounts are not known. Each company receives grants and which varies depending on the project. Each company has also money from another source, like privet, banks, … This money all together is around millions.

So, for every company it is different. I will give you some sales data from a couple of companies of the animal pharm’s top 20.

Not all these companies invest in animals, so I only selected 5 companies for animals.

1)   Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Healt: sale in 2009 à 2120,9 EUR and in 2010 à 2,743.19 EUR

2)   Merial: In 2009: 1,959.71 EUR and in 2010: 2,021.87 EUR

3)   Elanco: In 2009: 926.146 EUR and in 2010: 1,067.33 EUR

4)   INDEXX Laboratories: In 2009: 705.927 EUR and in 2010: 757.337 EUR

5)   Virbacc: In 2009: 467,1 EUR and in 2010: 572,8 EUR

I didn’t find more information on the money transfers specific for the companies performing research for pets. That’s why I focused on this data.

Money that goes to Africa.

(this is a financial report from 2010)

  • Income:
a) Gifts from Belgium 27 280
b) Legacies in Belgium 5 052
c) Gifts from AZG partner sections 10 9 397
d) Gifts from other AZG sections 29 004
e) Other private-income 4 832
Subtotal 175 565 (90,1%)
Subsidies of government 19 207 (9,9%)
TOTAL 194 772 (100%)

Income from private donors or the general public is the main source of income for AZG (90,1% of total). Much of it is collected by other MSF partner sections.

Income from institutional donors or grants for Belgian and European governments represent 9,9% of total incomes. The main donors are the EU, Sweden and Belgium.

  • Outcome:
Social mission
a) Direct and indirect operational outcome 161 746
b) Sensibilisation 2 114
c) Research to neglected diseas


Subtotal 164 257 (91,8%)
Other outcomes
a) Working 8 160
b) Fundraising 6 430
Subtotal 14 590 (8,2%)
TOTAL 178 847 (100%)

Social mission (89,6% of total) includes all outcomes for operations in various countries (direct costs) and medical, logistical and operational services from its headquarters in Brussels (indirect costs). The social mission includes outcomes for sensibilisation and the costs associated with research into neglected diseases.

Other outcomes comprise following outcomes: general operations, fundraising in Belgium and subsidies for Danish partner section and the office in Brazil and South Africa.


29,3 million euros was spent extra than the initial budgeted, since 18,4 million euros extra was collected. This increase can be attributed to two major catastrophes that occurred in Haiti and Pakistan.

The final result was assigned to the emergency fund of ‘Artsen zonder grenzen’. This allows us to immediately help all victims, both those of high profile disaster like this for emergencies, which are not talked about in this post.


Organization to help Africa

At this moment, more than 22,5 million people in South Africa are infected with HIV. This is around two thirds of the global total. Most of this people cannot permit aids-inhibitory medication, because the patent holding companies demand to high prices.

The organization ‘Artsen zonder grenzen’ have started a campaign to make cheaper drugs available to the South African market. In 1997, South Africa wanted to tackle this severe problem by a new law to approve the production or import of cheaper (generic) drugs. According to the World Trade Organization it is permitted due to the national emergency. But the pharmaceutical industry complained in 1998 against the government for violation of intellectual property. They hold the law already for 3 years. In that period, 400.000 people in South Africa died of aids or aids-derived infections. The pharmaceutical companies asked for, and received, extra time to come up with argumentation to justify the high prices.

Meanwhile in 2011: due to the lack of money has the Global Fund cancelled the next round during which countries are able to ask for financial support for AIDS-programs. This brings the lives of AIDS patient in many countries at risk.

To help people with a disease, medication is not enough. The staff of the hospital needs to have enough knowledge and experience. Secondly the correct equipment in the hospitals is indispensable.
For these reasons, ‘artsen zonder vakantie’ has been active to stimulate the medical help in Africa. Together with the local team and the direction, they accomplish a better treatment for the patient, and ensure that personal is motivated and competent.

‘Arsten zonder vakantie’ defends the right to health, the right to quality care also for the poor and the right to health education to prevent illness. They choose for a short mission of 2 weeks to 1 month. Those missions can be repeated and fit into a long-term support of the African hospitals. During this mission our African colleagues are contaminated with knowledge and experience.
To achieve quality care, African hospitals needed equipment. Teams with specialists works with African colleagues and bring specialized equipment with them. These medical devices  and instruments are donated to the hospital after the mission. The available equipment can save lives!

The people of ‘arsten zonder grenzen’ helps in hospitals to achieve a better organization, hygienic standard and efficient techniques combined with a pleasant and motivating work environment. These are small steps, but one small step for the human, can mean a big step for the humanity.

The equipment, better hygienic standards in hospitals and help from other counties in means of fundraising and support is as much needed as appreciated. But only medication cannot dissolve the problem in Africa. What about the basic needs, like streaming water, clothing, electricity,…? Is it in the first place not more important to have a hygienic environment?

People vs pets

More of 50% of people in the poor parts of Africa and Asia don’t have access to essential drugs.

Reasons are:

–          Low budget for healthy
–          High prises for drugs
–          Distribution problems
–          Low quality of available drugs
–          Poor patient education
–          Production of drugs fluctuations
–          New drugs for certain tropical diseases are insufficiently developed
–          Low drug donations
–          Misuse of medication

Both national and international governments and the private sector are responsible for improving access to medicines for poor and sick people in developing countries.

Millions of poor people suffer and die because they cannot afford much-needed medication. Their only alternative is to buy cheaper generic drugs.

Kenya is ahead of many African countries in palliative care, but only seven of its 250 hospitals have ready access to morphine. Even when it is in stock, the annual supply is limited to some 1,500 patients. Yet 180,000 Kenyans die each year of AIDS and cancer alone. Not every patient can be provided with adequate drugs.

Doctors and parents are especially to prescribe morphine to children, arguing that it amounts to giving up on them. Furthermore, the law in many African countries is poorly written, leaving hospitals liable for misplaced controlled drugs, a big concern when so many drugs are pilfered and are then flogged on the black market.

For cancer and other diseases, because Africans often see doctors too late and chemotherapy is rarely available, cancer treatment is mostly about helping people to die without pain.

Health care for pets has developed enormously in recent years, and is now offered mainly by veterinarians who treat companion animals only. Every year more and more medicines for pets came on the market. Many research is done regarding to drugs for pets.

But the main question is, is there more money going to research on drugs for animals or to developing countries? If so, is this ethical justifiable? Are pets concerning health care more important compared to people in developing countries?


The main question for my blog

The main question for my blog will be:

Is it responsible to invest so much money in the development of vaccines for pets while every day in Africa people die due to the lack of access to regular drugs?